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Invasive Species Conference Coming to UC Davis

Experts to talk about new threats to the state's plant ecosystems.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey

Special to Dixon Patch

Botanist Dean Kelch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture has been added to the speaker list of the all-day conference, "Educating the Public About New Invasive Species Threatening California’s Plant Ecosystems,” on Tuesday April 24 at UC Davis.

The conference, sponsored by the UC Davis Contained Research Facility (CRF) will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center. The site is located at 550 Alumni Lane, across from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Kelch will speak on “New Pest Plants” from 9 to 9:35 a.m.

"The goal of this conference is to bring together biologists, social scientists, and communication experts to discuss how to educate all segments of society about the threat of invasive species and how to assist in their exclusion and detection," said coordinator Kris Godfrey, CRF associate project scientist.

Conference speakers will examine pest plants and plant pests that are likely to enter California in the near future, the pathways of introduction and likelihood of entry, and examples of successful outreach programs that resulted in changes in behavior by segments of society. Also to be discussed: "methods to overcome barriers to communication with various segments of the population and possible new methods of communication," Godfrey said.

"As for invasive pests, we will be discussing the golden spotted oak borer, Asian citrus psyllid, European grapevine moth, Japanese dodder, sudden oak death, and zebra and quagga mussels," said Godfrey, who will give the welcoming address at 8 a.m.

Among the topics and speakers:

  • New Plant Pathogens, Richard Bostock, UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology.
  • New Arthropod Pests, Kevin Hoffman, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Sacramento
  • New Pest Plants, Dean Kelch, CDFA
  • Predicting the Next Pest Invaders and How To Prevent Their Introduction, Joseph DiTomaso, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences
  • Zebra and Quagga Mussels, Ted Grosholz, UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy
  • European Grapevine Moth, Lucia Varela, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
  • Asian Citrus Psyllid/Huanglongbing, Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Riverside Department of Entomology
  • Sudden Oak Death and Buy-Where-You-Burn Campaigns, Janice Alexander, UC Cooperative Extension, Marin County, Novato
  • Don’t Plant a Pest, and PlantRight campaigns, Christiana Conser
  • Japanese Dodder, Ramona Saunders, Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Newspaper Perspective, Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee
  • Public Relations Firm, Sharon McNerny, Nuffer, Smith, and Tucker, Sacramento
  • General public and public entities communication, David Kellum, San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Community perceptions to emergency responses, Margareta Lelea, Department of Entomology in collaboration with the Department of Human and Community Development, UC Davis

The conference will end with a facilitator-led discussion, with all speakers available to participate. It will be facilitated by Kim Rodrigues, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Davis, and Wendy West, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Placerville

UC personnel will be admitted free to the conference. The registration fee for others is $25. Space is limited. For more information, contact Kris Godfrey at kegodfrey@ucdavis.edu or (530) 754-2104. More information is on the website at http://crf.ucdavis.edu/.

The conference is a cooperative project of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the UC Davis departments of Plant Pathology, Entomology, Plant Sciences, and Food Science and Technology, the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, and the UC Riverside Department of Entomology. The conference is supported with a grant from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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